Skip to main content

INTRODUCTION:

What I am about to share is sometimes an unpopular message.

It is about submission and obedience.

It is not very popular because of misunderstanding, misuse and abuse of authority, but when applied in line with balanced biblical truth, there is great blessing.

Generally speaking men and women do not like being told what to do. We tend to rebel and want to do our own thing and I guess that this is an inherited trait coming to us from the rebellious and disobedient act of one man in a garden—the first Adam.

Jesus, who is the second Adam came to the earth and lived amongst us as a man, divesting Himself of His divine nature and He too faced the same choice precesses we do as far as submission and obedience to the higher authority—His Father. He often said that He never did anything or said anything independently.  

He came here on a mission and His whole life was dedicated to that mission.
Throughout His ministry Jesus often referred to His destiny. For example-

Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. John 2:18-22.

She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Mark 14:8.

Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon, a man who had suffered from a skin disease.
While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to him with a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it on his head. The disciples were irritated when they saw this. They asked, “Why did she waste it like this?
It could have been sold for a high price, and the money could have been given to the poor.”
Since Jesus knew what was going on, he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me with you.
She poured this perfume on my body before it is placed in a tomb.
I can guarantee this truth: Wherever this Good News is spoken in the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
  Matthew 26:6-13 

He said that this woman's actions would be remembered as her memorial. I am bearing testimony of that now. You may never know this side of Heaven what affect your small deeds can have. May they be good ones and may they be great ones.

Let us look at the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest and delve into the heart-wrenching, soul-searching agonizing events that happened in a garden. 
 

The Last Supper:

It was Passover and Jesus, our Passover lamb announced-

Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. Matthew 26:2.

And He said to them, I have earnestly and intensely desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; For I say to you, I shall eat it no more until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He said, Take this and divide and distribute it among yourselves; For I say to you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine at all until the kingdom of God comes. Then He took a loaf [of bread], and when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and gave it to them saying, This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. And in like manner, He took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament or covenant [ratified] in My blood, which is shed (poured out) for you. Luke 22:15-20.

Religious art that we often admire depicts Jesus sitting in the middle of a long rectangular shaped table with all disciples seated on the same side to His right and left, but it is more likely that they were in a U-shape configuration as seen below. If John could recline against Him, whilst He could reach out with his hand and dip into the plate and pass to Judas, both men had to be very close. When Judas was about to depart, Jesus told him that what he had to do, to do it quickly. As he departed, the disciples wondered about it, assuming that Jesus had sent him out to give some money to the poor. He was the treasurer. They could not have heard what Jesus said. All He had to do was whisper in the man’s ear.

I share this to illustrate that we have often assumed things or believed some things that might not necessarily be true. Religious tradition may have led us to believe erroneously about certain matters. You might believe that three wise men came to the infant Jesus in the nativity story, but the bible does not tell us that! All that is stated is that there were wise men form the East who presented three groups of gifts! I encourage you to conduct your own research into such things.

Jesus told us that He came here to die. From the outset He went about on His assignment confident in the knowledge that He always pleased the Father and did only what the Father did. See John 5:17; 5:30; 8:16; 8:28; 8:38; 10:30. He came as a man, to live amongst men, die as a man and be raised again. Everything that He did on earth was done as an ordinary human being. He shed His divinity for us. Paul said-

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11.
 

Every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in things relating to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to exercise gentleness and forbearance toward the ignorant and erring, since he himself also is liable to moral weakness and physical infirmity. And because of this he is obliged to offer sacrifice for his own sins, as well as for those of the people.

Besides, one does not appropriate for himself the honor [of being high priest], but he is called by God and receives it of Him, just as Aaron did. So too Christ (the Messiah) did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed and exalted by Him Who said to Him, You are My Son; today I have begotten You; As He says also in another place, You are a Priest [appointed] forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.
In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].
Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him, Being designated and recognized and saluted by God as High Priest after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:1-10.

Our story may be the most important, crucial, profound part of His whole ministry. Without that, there may not have been Calvary. What if Jesus had failed in the Garden? What if He had succumbed to His humanity and avoided what happened next after that Passover? He had that power and authority to do so...

The writer of Hebrews spoke something very powerful when talking about Jesus’ sonship, submission and obedience. It would appear that it started at birth, but it always existed before the Garden was created; before the world was made, when Jesus was the Passover lamb that Revelation 13:8 describes. In Hebrews chapter ten, we see a testimony of His willingness and obedience.

Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Hebrews 10:7.

He said it again in verse 9 and if you read on, you will see that Jesus made one offering—one sacrifice for sin and rested. There is no more remembrance of our sin once we are saved and there is no more offering for sin. His work is complete and we are complete in Him. He is resting and we can enter into that rest.
The only labor we now have is to enter into it.

The Love Walk: 

Mary and Joseph raised Jesus in Jewish environment. When He was twelve years of age, they went to Jerusalem for Passover and started their return journey, but He remained there.

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. Luke 2:41-45. 

After searching for Him, they found Jesus in the temple. He was talking with such learned men as lawyers, doctors, priests and I guess anyone who knew anything and He amazed them all with His grasp of the things of God. His parents chided Him, but He replied-

And He said to them, How is it that you had to look for Me? Did you not see and know that it is necessary [as a duty] for Me to be in My Father's house and [occupied] about My Father's business? Luke 2:49.

At that tender age, Jesus had an inkling of His destiny. Luke says that He went back home with His parents, where He remained until He emerged at Jordan to start ministering. He willingly placed himself in submission to those in authority over Him.

Submission to authority is important, but is not being taught or adhered to today as it aught. Even in the Church, misunderstanding and abuse of authority sometimes occurs. Little wonder that rank disobedience is becoming more and more evident everywhere today. Paul said this would happen-

But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

I am not suggesting that we do not submit to leadership. We are to do this in all areas of life according to the bible, but when leadership of any kind demands it; lords it over us, dominates, manipulates and controls us to excess, it is dangerous. It borders on witchcraft… yes witchcraft and it even exists in the church! Now often have you heard that well-worn question, “Whose covering are you under?” It could sometimes be rephrased to say, “Who is controlling you?” There is a difference.

Our submission is to be voluntary and not demanded. We are not to rebel and are to honor our leaders, but they must deserve that privilege and earn our respect—not demand it. A pastor (and I am a pastor) who demands this might be out of divine order and that is all I will say on that matter.
Refusal to come under leadership was Lucifer’s problem. That and his pride was his undoing!
Not so with Jesus.

And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was [habitually] obedient to them; and his mother kept and closely and persistently guarded all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:51-52.

This attitude gave Him favor and He earned His leadership qualities, learning what He did and willingly yielding to the Father and to His peers on earth. The Roman Centurion mentioned in Matthew chapter eight recognized this quality in Jesus. Paul also knew about such things.

Paul stared at the Jewish council and said, “Brothers, my relationship with God has always given me a perfectly clear conscience.” The chief priest Ananias ordered the men standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you hypocrite! You sit there and judge me by Moses' Teachings and yet you break those teachings by ordering these men to strike me!” The men standing near Paul said to him, “You're insulting God's chief priest!” Paul answered, “Brothers, I didn't know that he is the chief priest. After all, Scripture says, ‘Don't speak evil about a ruler of your people.'” Acts 23:1-5.

Ananias was out of line, but Paul was also out of line until he realized who Ananias was. He then submitted to the authority vested in Him. People in authority might not necessarily be right, but they are there nevertheless and are only there, because of God's permission and that is what we honor.

When I was a very young Christian, the Lord started to speak to me one day, saying, “Apologize to pastor....” (mentioning his name). I answered, “But Lord, he offended me”. He kept telling me, “Apologize” and I kept avoiding it. I told the Lord that the pastor was wrong and that he had offended me. I said that if anyone should make an apology it should come to me, but the Lord kept telling me to apologize. That pastor was in the wrong, but so was I by my attitude.

I eventually went to his home. He and his wife invited me in and offered me coffee but I said that I had to apologize to him first. I told them what had happened telling them what happened and why. He responded by asking what he had done to hurt me. He really didn’t know!

He was very apologetic and asked me what he had done and for the life of me, it was so trivial, it was of no real consequence. I apologized to him and he to me and we became great friends. He helped me all he could thereafter. The point wish to make is that I risked taking offense over something that he did not realize he had inadvertently done and I was not honoring the position that the man of God held!

Does it really matter who is right? Perception can be misleading. Keep the love walk going and do not try to promote or elevate yourself or prove a thing. Allow God to handle things and do such stuff.

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. Psalm 75:6-7.

If we followed these principles in the Church, things would improve. See also Exodus 22:28; Ecclesiastes 10:20; Romans 13:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-3; 1 Peter 2:17.

I am mindful of the need to speak carefully and in love, but there are churches and pastors out there that should not exist.

Several  years ago when I started to restructure the ministry, I had intentions of starting a new church and the Lord forbade me saying that there were too many churches around—that He did not ordain (His words and not mine). We may be anointed. We may have great meetings and create great and wonderful programs, but the bottom line is this—Did the Lord ask the people involved to do that, or did they choose to do so themselves? If He never asked them to do what they are doing, they are stepping into rebellion!

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquityMatthew 7:21-23.

Jesus did not deny what they stated, for they had in fact done them, but He said that they had no intimate relationship, coming from the word Knew, which in the Greek is Ginōskō. He called them workers of iniquity or Anomia, meaning iniquity, lawless and lawlessness. One translation says that He did not ordain them, or authorize them to do what they were doing! That is unrighteousness and is transgressing the law of God! King Saul was anointed, but he was not submissive and obedient and David replaced him.

Changes are coming to the Church in the close of this dispensation! Some big ministries are going to fail for this reason and be replaced. Watch and pray for them and for the people that will be hurt. Do not condemn them, but love on them.
Keep the love walk intact.

God’s Plan:

As we look closer into all of these matters, it becomes evident that everything was happening to a plan. It is God’s plan. Despite Adam’s sin, God was working to a plan and this is the wonder of it all. God knew in advance that you would read this story one day. He knew that I would write it, yet He still gave us the freedom of will. You can choose to believe or not believe. You can choose to be a follower of Jesus or not. And it never ceases to amaze me that God honors our choice. The outcome depends on our obedience. In Deuteronomy 30:19, God states clearly that our decisions will produce life or death, blessing or cursing. The choice is ours.

Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; Deuteronomy 11:26. 

The First Adam made his choice with the result that we all came under the curse. Jesus who is called the Second Adam did what Adam did not and because of His obedience to the point of death, we are now able to come boldly through the vail into the throne room to worship and fellowship with the Father. What He did emancipated us and redeemed us from that curse.

What we must remember is that at one crucial point in Jesus’ life, you and I and every human being on earth depended on one thing that He wanted to avoid. At the last minute, He wanted to escape.
He wanted a way out and avoid what was to come. Totally alone, with no one to stand with Him and, as an ordinary man at that time, He wanted to quit.
We would have been doomed for eternity if He came out of that crushing place without His submission to the will of the Father.

When Peter cut off the ear of Malchus, Jesus stated that He could call on more than twelve legions of angels to help Him. These small snippets of information can reveal a massive wealth of revelation. In the Bible a legion means a number indefinitely large. A Roman legion varied in number at different periods, ranging from three thousand to six thousand in Jesus’ day. This did not include the cavalry. There were ten cohorts in each legion that were further divided into smaller groups often containing one hundred men each.

By Jesus’ words, He could have called for in excess of 72,000 angels to help him.

Isaiah 37:36 states that one angel of the Lord smote 185,000 men in one night.
Simple maths reveals that if Jesus had yielded to His natural instincts as a man to ask 72000 angels to help him, they could have slain 13,320,000,000 men.
This is mind boggling.

 

Our Lord displayed perfect submission to the mind and will of God and there is no higher authority than God.

See Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 4:35, 32:39; 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Kings 8:23; 1 Chronicles 17:20; Psalm 89:6, 10; Isaiah 43:10, 44:6, 45:18; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 5:7.
 

   He rules and reigns supreme and has established definite prescribed lines of communication, or, chains of command, by delegated authority, which we see scripture. We see this first in the Garden.

Then God said, “Let us make a man—someone like ourselves, to be the master of all life upon the earth and in the skies and in the seas.” So God made man like his Maker. Like God did God make man; Man and maid did he make them. And God blessed them and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it; you are masters of the fish and birds and all the animals. And look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I’ve given all the grass and plants to the animals and birds for their food.” Then God looked over all that he had made, and it was excellent in every way. This ended the sixth day. Genesis 1:26-31.

God in essence gave Adam total control on the planet. He was God's representative or agent.

He was given such delegated power and authority that God caused all creatures to pass in front of Adam and watched to see what Adam called them.

God did not call a horse a horse—Adam did. God did not call an apple an apple—Adam did.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them:

and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Genesis 2:19-21. 

Adam was a special person. All angels, including Satan, are created beings. They are of a different order to man and when God created Adam, they were amazed, because this was an unprecedented act. Psalm 8 says-

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent (majestic and glorious) is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory on [or above] the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?Yet You have made him but a little lower than God [or heavenly beings], and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent (majestic and glorious) is Your name in all the earth!

The original text says that God created Adam a little lower than god (notice the lower case). Translators of the King James Version could not grasp the enormous significance of this, so used the word angels, but, as Jesus said in John 10:34, we are in fact gods (again notice the lower case g), quoting Psalm 82:6. Some folk have gone overboard with this fact of course, but we humans are a unique species who are supposed to be just like God!

Adam was thus lord of the planet earth. I try to imagine without success what things would have been like if he had not sinned, but I am so glad that Jesus came to restore us to full communion with the Father.

God and Adam talked to each other! Can you imagine having a face-to-face one-on-one relationship with God, strolling in the garden together?
 

   We know from 1 Timothy 2:13-14 that Eve was deceived and Adam chose to join her. That act of treason essentially sold out to the devil. He was given the title deeds to the planet, but he does not own it! See 1 Corinthians 10:26,28; Psalm 50:10-12. Satan never owned it and never will, but that is another story.

Because of Adam, we have all been tainted and because one man sold out, one man alone could regain it to make things legal in the courts of Heaven.

Although Adam was in charge, he had one restriction placed upon him and that was one small act of obedience. God provided everything Adam could ever possibly need, but He asked him not to touch one tree. Adam could do what he wanted except eat one piece of fruit. That was God's!

   This ability to exercise free will remains with us to this day. Jesus had it. You have it. What you do with this liberty will determine your eternal destiny.

We have just seen a small glimpse of the status of the First Adam and he was a truly amazing man.
His physical and mental faculties were unlimited. Untainted by sin, he was second only to God on the earth. Everything was like a miniature or a replica of heaven on earth... or was it?

 Genesis 1:2 tells us that the earth was a place of devastation—a dark place full of ruin, misery and death! Whoa! Just a minute. Didn’t God create the earth? He couldn’t have created such an evil place. Look again…

When God began to create heaven and earth—the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water—God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3.

The King James Version says-

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was (הָיָה [hāyâ] meaning to become exist or happen) without form (תֹּהו [tōhû] meaning to lie waste, vain, vanity, confusion, without form, wilderness, empty place, waste), and void (בֹּהו [bōhû] meaning to be empty, an undistinguishable ruin, emptiness, void; and darkness (חשֶׁך [ḥōshek] meaning the dark, literal darkness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

The Hebrew language paints a picture of that last statement as a command. Light… Be! Up to this point, the hōshek enveloped the planet, but at God’s command it was dispelled by a luminescence that was not the natural light produced by the sun, moon or stars. It was אוֹר (ʾôr), which refers to lights, clarity, brightness, lightning etc including things like happiness.

When God saw the good, He divided the light from the darkness. The word used is בָּדַל (bādal) and some of its meanings speak about severing, or making a distinct demarcation line of separation between things.

I am one of the people who subscribe to the notion that there might have been a pre-creation era—a time when what we know as earth previously existed in some way, but became dark, ruined and devastated.

Isaiah 14:12-17 speaks about a being called Lucifer. It describes his pride and how the world was made to be a wilderness. Ezekiel 28:11-19 talks about a being I believe was Lucifer. Revelation 12:7-10 reveals his expulsion from Heaven and Jesus stated that He saw it happen in Luke 10:18.

I suggest to you that Lucifer fell to earth after being banished from Heaven with the angels who sided with him and this is when the darkness ruin and devastation happened.

When God created the man, He blessed them. Clearly, His intention is to bless us and He gave a command. God does not change, so His wishes and commands have not changed. The command was to be fruitful, multiply and rule.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:28.

This command embraced the aspects of fruitfulness. Adam was to multiply and cover the earth, starting from the garden. He was to subdue the earth and take dominion. Look at the meanings of the words subdue and dominion for a moment, courtesy of Webster’s dictionary.

The word subdue is a verb, meaning overcome, arrest, to conquer and bring into subjection, to vanquish and to bring under control especially by an exertion of the will.

If the earth as such was perfect, Adam had no need to conquer a thing. What therefore did he have to subdue?

To replenish is to fill with persons or animals, yet God had just created the animals that were to reproduce as He commanded. To replenish is to fill with inspiration or power and to nourish. It is to fill something or build something up again. If the earth in its original form had been in a state of perfection, there would be no need for such things. Something was wrong with the planet and God implemented His plan to fix it.

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Genesis 2:8.

The garden mentioned is ‏גַּן‎ (gan). It describes a fenced garden. Such derivatives of the word as ‏גָּנַן‎ (gānan) speak about defending it, to put a shield about it and to protect it. The idea is to cover over and thus shield from danger. A gan or gannâ referred to a garden or a plot of ground that is protected by a wall or a hedge.

Adam was much more than a mere caretaker of a garden and the keeper of an aquarium.

As God’s representative, given total control or authority, he was placed inside the garden to guard and protect it! From what?

Another derivative is māgēn, which is a shield, buckler and defense. It refers to an object that provides covering and protection to the body during warfare. God is always the one who protects (gānan) his people. He is often called the shield (māgēn) of Israel and everyone who walks uprightly and puts their trust in Him. See Genesis 15:1; Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalm 115:10; Proverbs 2:7; Proverbs 30:5.

This is the setting in which the First Adam was placed.

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15.

It would appear that God created Adam outside the garden then placed him inside. He was to tend the garden and keep it. The act of keeping is interesting. Taken form the word ‏שָׁמַר (shāmar) it means to keep, guard, observe, watch over, save and preserve. One meaning is watchman and it speaks about the act of hedging about as with a thorny hedge. Adam was there to guard and protect the place as well as tending it.

Before we continue, please ask the question, from what or from whom was he protecting the garden?

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 3:1.

I wonder where he was when the serpent came to the woman and enchanted her. Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:14 that he was not deceived—Eve was. If Adam was the watchman with such abilities, why did he permit this to happen? Why did he not forbid the snake to get in? Why did he not tell Eve not to listen?

The serpent came to Eve and started to quote the bible (perhaps I should say misquote). The devil can read it you know, but he does not have the wonderful privilege we have of receiving revelation knowledge of what God said.

If he did know as much as some people say, he should have told the people to leave Jesus alone and not crucify Him! See 1 Corinthians 2:8. He twisted what God had said to suit his own ends and Eve listened.

He appealed to her sense knowledge, but she was supposed to live out of her spirit as we are!
When she changed channels so to speak, the way we can change a TV channel, she became self conscious instead of God conscious. She should have gone to Adam and asked him. Adam should have been there and told her to have nothing to do with it. Actually he should not have permitted the snake to be there in the first place.
She fell for the beguiling words and ate that piece of fruit and then gave some to her husband and he also ate. I consider that an act of treason. At that point, it was as if he gave Satan the authority or title deeds of the planet that  God gave him and sin came into the world.

  

  The serpent offered them what they already possessed, but he did it in such a way that they reverted to self-efforts.

Many cults and false religions, even some people who call themselves Christians (but are not) operate like this. They offer an alternative. They tell you that your good deeds and charitable acts, religious observances and the like will get you into God’s favor and give you a ticket to Heaven.

The bible never teaches that at all. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ! The only means of receiving forgiveness of sin is by the shed blood of Jesus. Adam and Eve tried to be their own god. They had previously been naked and suddenly became conscious of self and tried to fix it themselves by sewing fig leaves for a covering. We need God’s covering, but they tried to obtain that by works!
We obtain all that is necessary by faith!

Was Adam placed in the Garden to be a tiller of the soil, or was he there for a very important task? That garden was a fenced garden, hedged around by thorns designed to defend or protect it. It would seem that God created the earth and later planted a garden eastward in Eden, placing Adam ther to do much more than till the soil. If so, then he had failed before Eve ate that piece of fruit. His transgression would thus be much greater than we originaly thought and the Second Adam came to remedy it.

     And יהוה Elohim took the man and put him in the garden of Ěḏen to work it and to guard it. Genesis 2:15.

  Adam’s transgression never surprised God. He does not have Plan B. It is always God's plan! He knew from the beginning what would happen and had prepared the plan of salvation well before He created everything. According to Revelation 13:8 Jesus was already our sacrificial lamb, whilst Adam was still a lump of clay. It staggers the imagination.

We need to see in detail the consequences of what happened in the garden.

When Adam fell, he transferred allegiance.
He stopped living in the spirit and stepped over into the dimension of the soul and ruled by the senses. When he did that it was as if he gave Satan the title deeds to everything. This is why Satan was able to confront Jesus and offer Him an alternate way.

Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time [in the twinkling of an eye]. And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will. Therefore if You will do homage to and worship me [just once], it shall all be Yours. Luke 4:5-7.

Jesus did not contradict him and say that these kingdoms were not his to give away. He could legally do that, because Adam transferred this authority to him. The issue is not really over material possessions, but the souls of men. He is going to the pit and wants to take us with him. The Babylonian system on which we base our finances globally is designed to fail and is indeed failing, so the issue is not about things—the stuff people strive for (and God knows we need certain things).

The battle is for the minds and will of men. When Abraham won the battle against the kings in Genesis 14, the king of Sodom came to him saying-

Give me the people, and keep everything else for yourself. Genesis 14:21.

The issue is the souls of men, but God had a plan.

Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned. [To be sure] sin was in the world before ever the Law was given, but sin is not charged to men's account where there is no law [to transgress]. Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who did not themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam did.

Adam was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come [in reverse, the former destructive, the Latter saving]. But God's free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man's falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God's grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.

Nor is the free gift at all to be compared to the effect of that one [man's] sin. For the sentence [following the trespass] of one [man] brought condemnation, whereas the free gift [following] many transgressions brings justification (an act of righteousness). For if because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Well then, as one man's trespass [one man's false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man's act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men. 

For just as by one man's disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man's obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).

But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God's unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded, So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord. Romans 5:12-21.

Because of one man, sin entered and the judgement for sin came on man. God’s plan made it essential that another man undid the damage done. He could not rectify this Himself and He could not ask an angel to do that, because He had delegated all authority to the man in the garden. Man used that authority, by an act of his own free will, to transfer his positional status to Satan.

God expelled Adam from the garden to prevent him from eating of the other tree there. This was the tree of life. If Adam ate of that fruit in his fallen state, man would have lived forever, separated from God without any possibly restoration of any kind. God’s love and mercy thus sent Adam out of the garden and He stationed angelic guards there to prevent any return. I believe that this garden actually remains to this day and may be in the area we know as modern day Iraq. See Genesis 3:22-14.

Before He did so, God provided a covering for the man and the woman who were now aware of their nakedness, both in the natural and in the spirit. See Genesis 3:21. I often ask myself the question, “Where did the skins come from?”
Surely they were animal skins, so an animal died. Innocent blood was shed and this immediately indicates God’s plan for our redemption, namely, the shedding of blood. Without that, there is no remission for sin. See Hebrews 9:22.

The proclamation made in Genesis 3:14-15, was in essence a prophecy that was fulfilled approximately four thousand years later when Jesus, the seed of the woman, bruised the head of the serpent.

One man brought sin and one man had to deal with sin, so the Son of God became the son of man so that the sons of man could become the sons of God.

We have touched briefly on both the divine nature and the human nature of Jesus. Although He was God living in a human frame, He lived as one of us, limiting Himself to the same constraints of space and time, energy and resources that affect us. His whole earthly ministry was in this vein. During His three-year ministry, Jesus, the ordinary human being, grew from childhood into adolescence and into adulthood. He ate the same food and drank the same water as others. He grew tired and slept, bathed and used the bathroom as we do, enjoyed times of relaxation and fellowship, liked to be with people when it was appropriate and His times of solitude, when He could think, pray and relax.
He spent much time in prayer and it was in such times that He renewed His strength, received instructions and directions from the Father and learned how to flow in the Spirit. He was able to state that He always pleased the Father and never did one single thing without first getting His directions or approval. See John 5:19-20, 30, 36-43.

God Lives In Him:

Debate reigns in some people's minds over the deity of Jesus, but the bible is very clear on this matter. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. God lived in Him when He walked the earth and still lives in Him.
Jesus often spoke on how He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. God is a spirit, but Jesus revealed deity to us. When people asked to see the Father, He told them, "Look at Me. If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father". See John 14:8-9. Some people's viewpoints along these lines may be risky. Jesus clearly said that if someone denies Him, the day would come when He will deny them. See Matthew 10:33.

John spoke very pointedly on this in 1 John 2:22-23. the deity of Jesus is so clearly revealed in scripture, I cannot understand how people miss it. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 

For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. Colossians 2:9.

He is the only true manifestation of the Father.
He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3.

He was born of man and had a family tree. We can trace His family line right back to Adam. Matthew goes into great detail to reveal this, starting in Matthew 1:1, which says-

The book of the ancestry (genealogy) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham.

I suggest you look carefully into this family tree. It is most interesting. His human conception and birth was spoken about in Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6. See also Luke 1:1; John 1:14 and Galatians 4:4.

We know from Matthew 10:23; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16 that Jesus chose twelve disciples, but forget that He had brothers and sisters in his family and many friends (see Mark 3:21; Luke 12:4) and that He was a famous man! Mark 4:24, 9:31; Luke 4:37, 5:15 speak about His fame.

Scriptures also tell us that Jesus had many more than the twelve. Luke 10:1 tells us that He appointed other seventy also, so there were at least 82 disciples, but there were more yet! When He started to speak about Calvary, mentioning His body and blood, many of His disciples left Him! See John 6:53-66.

Paul says that Jesus appeared to 500 brethren after His resurrection. Acts 1:15 states that the prayer meeting which Mary attended comprised 120 people.

We must understand the truth about Jesus and His ministry. Jesus was a popular man, accepted by all except the mainline core of religious leaders. Religious teachings have clouded the issue and hidden the truth. For example, it is said that Jesus was poor, which is error. John 12:6 and John 13:29 tell us that Judas was the treasurer and that Jesus often got him to give money to the poor. No one can do that if they are broke!

We forget the gifts that the wise men gave Him. It is possible that a couple of hundred men—not three (the bible only states that they were wise men), gave precious gifts to Him when He was born. Mary and Joseph needed that money when they fled to Egypt and as the first-born son, He would have inherited Joseph’s possessions.

Surely, people would have given to Him in His ministry. Today we call this sowing into a ministry or partnering with a ministry!

This is the Jesus who taught the people, healed the sick, raised the dead, fed thousands of people with a picnic lunch and walked on water. Whenever He came to town, crowds gathered.
The woman with the issue of blood, blind Bartimaeus and the four men who broke the roof of someone’s house to get in (the crowd was too great to get inside) and many more all heard about Him and the bible says that He healed them all!

On many occasions, so many people surrounded him that He had to send them away, or get away from them to rest and pray.

This is the Jesus I am talking about—a man supported by numerous disciples and popular with people. As famous as a champion athlete or a movie star or hated by those who feared Him or envied Him.

What never ceases to amaze me is that God wants us to be like Jesus. After all, did not Jesus tells us that we should do the same works as He? We can! we should!

Help Was Always Available:

I come from a background where people of like faith gather for many reasons. We firstly come together to bless and minister to God. I firmly believe that this is to be our primary function. Ministering comes later. We could say that Jesus ministered to the Father before all else by spending much quality time with Him, during which He received directions and instructions. He needed guidance as much as we do because as we have shared previously He ministered as an ordinary man at that time.

We are designed to fellowship and for fellowship. We enjoy corporate relationships of many kinds whereby we receive fellowship, encouragement of many kinds and prayer support.
We are to feed on God’s word by personal studies, bible study meetings and preaching, all of which is necessary as Paul describes-

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action), So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. 

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 that we are not to live by physical bread alone, which God supplies, but by learning how to live God’s way. Look upon the bible as our handbook on life, or the user manual for living the way God designed us to live.

God is a faith God. We cannot please Him without faith. See Romans 3:28; Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 11:6; James 2:18,20,26.

It is easy when surrounded by people who love you and care for you. It is easy to attend a great meeting and get fired up and excited, yell and shout Amen brother... preach it, or express yourself in any way you want in the churches where God is welcome and others around you are doing likewise.

Other people who are hopefully like you are there and, in faith filled meetings, there can often be an atmosphere of excitement and expectation that can make it easier for you to receive your miracle.

It is nice to get those nice tingly feelings and emotions, or to be slain in the spirit but what are you like afterwards?

Iron sharpens iron and the corporate anointing can often achieve more than individuals doing their own thing and when in the sorts of  power packed meetings I and many others conduct when anything can and often does happen. You might have a need and ask for prayer and get it in the churches I know and you certainly will in my own church. In such places, you’ve got all this kind of support you need and rightly so but what do you do when church is over? What do you do when you are alone? What do you do when the convention or conference is over?

Most ministers I know that are worth anything to speak of have various support structures in place in their ministries whereby someone with a problem or a need can telephone the office and get help. There are many ministries that have a prayer team. All that is required is to contact them and prayer support is at hand, but we tend to forget, that preachers are human too. We have needs and problems and who pastors the pastors? 

Never forget that ministry is not easy and it sure is not glamorous!

A preacher has to contend with all sorts of people. Ugly people with attitude. Lazy and selfish people. Complainers, murmurers, attention getters and time wasters alike all place demands on the minister, often times draining him.

There are also those who you like to have around you when you are a preacher. They are the ones who see the vision God gave you and get on side with it—if for no other reason than to get the job done.

There are of course those who are with you, but only for what they can hopefully get out of you. I know what I am talking about. I've had folk come to join the ministry whose sole intention was to get a nice home with a Jaguar motor car in the garage. One person arranged for a test drive with the company behind my back and that caused me lots of problems!

It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare for a meeting and stand behind a pulpit somewhere. The message you hear might be great and wonderful, challenge and inspire you, but the delivery of the message that lasts an hour could take weeks of prayer and study beforehand. Many times whilst others are out there enjoying themselves, the preacher may have to put that aside for some quality time alone with God.

Life is meant to be enjoyed to the full in all ways, but getting the priorities right might sometimes mean that the preacher chooses to forgo a game of golf, or take in a movie, to put the call of God first. The rewards for this are great, but at the time, it sure does not seem so.

A good preacher likes to be doing what he believes God called him to do and this is often up there on the platform in a meeting. Such a person gives his or her all and it takes effort. Sometimes the act of preaching drains one. Receptive people seem to draw from you and it is exciting, but after the meeting and after praying for folk, it can seem that a lot of energy has been expended. I believe that Jesus felt this, which is why He often retired afterwards to rest.

  

Most times there is a support mechanism of some kind, such as the Ministry of Helps and it is just as important as the other ministries. There are the people who meet you at the door, show you to a seat, take up the offering or distribute the emblems at communion time. There could be a good music team to lead in the praise and worship and then there are those other vital folk who are not seen, but keep the wheels on the thing. They are the ones who open the doors, switch the lights on and make sure that the preacher has a glass of water. All those sorts of things are good, valid and usually necessary and the pastor must be able to depend on them at all times. If he has to vacuum the carpet, he is not able to keep the edge on his anointing and hear clearly from the Lord and I know what I am talking about here. It is hard to be spiritual and keep focussed when folk stroll in whenever they please, sit down, do nothing, start talking (often over the top of you) and expect to be spoon fed and waited upon and then preach an anointed message

Jesus had the sorts of help I am talking about. He chose disciples to take over when He returned to Heaven, but He also needed their help and support in running His ministry. Judas had the ministry checkbook.

Others like Mary, Martha and Lazarus sowed into His ministry and others took Him out to dinner from time to time.

When He needed to go to the other side of the ocean, He got into the boat and slept whilst the others raised the sails and steered the thing.

When the 5000 were fed, He performed the miracle, but told the disciples to distribute the food after ensuring that the people were under control and seated. He didn't distribute the food or pick up the fragments afterwards.


   When Peter needed money to pay the temple tax, Jesus never supplied it directly, but told Peter to do something about it, get off his behind and throw in the fishing line. Those disciples, not Jesus, had to pull the nets in to get their net breaking boat sinking haul.

When He raised Lazarus from the dead, He never rolled the stone away. He told others to do that. He never took the grave clothes off Lazarus, but told others to do that!

Help and support was there every step of the way in His ministry. Although the Father gave His seal of approval, John the Baptist had to baptize Him! He needed help for that. Someone was always there to help Him! Help is always available for us. Help was always available for Jesus, which takes us onto something very important.

I Am Always With You: 

We have just seen that Jesus had help. Every step along the way, Jesus turned to God the Father and their communication was always perfect and unbroken. Their relationship was so close He accurately stated-

I and My Father are one (John 10:30).

He later elaborated-

Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. John 10:34-38.

When He prayed for us as recorded in John chapter seventeen, He spoke about His unity with the Father and about the glory He had, asking in prayer that we should become one in the same manner that they were one. 
I strongly recommend that you study this chapter carefully. It is amazing.

As we have preciously shared, Jesus knew His mission.When before Pilate, He spoke of this just after His arrest. Let us see the account.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium (judgment hall, governor's palace). And it was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled (become ceremonially unclean), but might be fit to eat the Passover [supper]. So Pilate went out to them and said, What accusation do you bring against this Man? They retorted, If He were not an evildoer (criminal), we would not have handed Him over to you.  Pilate said to them, Take Him yourselves and judge and sentence and punish Him according to your [own] law. The Jews answered, It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.  This was to fulfill the word which Jesus had spoken to show (indicate, predict) by what manner of death He was to die. John 18:28-32.

Jesus, knowing His mission, had often spoken about His death and resurrection before this. Pilate then spoke to Jesus.

So Pilate went back again into the judgment hall and called Jesus and asked Him, Are You the King of the Jews? Jesus replied, Are you saying this of yourself [on your own initiative], or have others told you about Me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your [own] people and nation and their chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done? John 18:33-35.

This last question is very important. What had Jesus done? His testimony is found in all four gospels and is confirmed in Acts 10:38.

You know that God anointed Jesus from Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Jesus went everywhere and did good things, such as healing everyone who was under the devil's power. Jesus did these things because God was with him.

Please notice that God was with Him! We shall look more of this later, but come back to the meeting with Pilate. Jesus answered the question, What have you done, in this way-

Jesus answered, “My kingdom doesn't belong to this world. If my kingdom belonged to this world, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. My kingdom doesn't have its origin on earth.”

He knew that He was King. He knew that He came into the world for a purpose. He knew His relationship with God. He knew the Father’s voice. He was inseparable from the Father.

Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus replied, “You're correct in saying that I'm a king. I have been born and have come into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.” John 18:36-37.

My dear friend, you too can know God. You too can have a depth of intimacy with God that transcends everything else. It can last for an eternity and it can start right here and now. You too can honestly state that you and the Father are one and that God lives in you. If you do not know this yet, then ask God into your life. I was 26 years of age when I discovered this and more than 40 years later, this relationship is as fresh as on day one—only better.

We have total assurance that God will never leave us or forsake us. Hebrews 13:5. See also Joshua 1:5; Isaiah 54:10; John 13:1; John 14:18.

   He who said in Matthew 28:20- behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be), was about to have a radical change in His life.

Pray With Me:

We are not designed to be alone in life and especially with regard to ministry it is wise to have a companion or two. Almost everywhere I look in the bible, God has a partnership in mind. There always seems to be a Moses and Aaron; a Joshua and Caleb; David and Jonathan; a Peter and John and a Paul and Silas.

Jesus chose a band of men to follow Him and at various stages He sent them out two by two on assignments. There is power and wisdom in operating this way. It grants safety and security, stability and balance; protection and confirmation and many more benefits. One person can cover each other’s backs; see things from a different perspective and complement each other.

We are very careful in our own ministry to always have others present, even if only for appearance’s sake. There are enough scandals and gossipmongers around as it is, all seeking ways to throw mud at preachers and embarrass the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I will not go into that any further but you know what I mean.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says-

Two people are better than one because {together} they have a good reward for their hard work. If one falls, the other can help his friend get up. But how tragic it is for the one who is {all} alone when he falls. There is no one to help him get up. Again, if two people lie down together, they can keep warm, but how can one person keep warm? Though one person may be overpowered by another, two people can resist one opponent. A triple-braided rope is not easily broken. See also Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 24:6.

Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15 talks about the necessity of having two or three witnesses in certain matters. We see more of this in Matthew 18:6; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19. Jesus had such a witness in His own ministry and when we become believers, we can know what this means, because of the witness of the Spirit in us.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born from God. Everyone who loves the Father also loves his children. We know that we love God's children when we love God by obeying his commandments.
To love God means that we obey his commandments. Obeying his commandments isn't difficult because everyone who has been born from God has won the victory over the world. Our faith is what wins the victory over the world. Who wins the victory over the world? Isn't it the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This Son of God is Jesus Christ, who came by water and blood. He didn't come with water only, but with water and with blood. The Spirit is the one who verifies this, because the Spirit is the truth.
There are three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These three witnesses agree.
We accept human testimony. God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony that he has given about his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them. 

Those who don't believe God have made God a liar. They haven't believed the testimony that God has given about his Son. This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is found in his Son.
The person who has the Son has this life. The person who doesn't have the Son of God doesn't have this life. 1 John 5:1-12.

We have concluded that Jesus was never alone. We see in part how He and the Father were intertwined as we can be intertwined with Him and we have seen how He never did anything of His own volition. He always checked things out with the Father and always had an unbroken line of communication.

Now, knowing that His destiny was about to be fulfilled, He assembled His disciples at Passover.

Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. John 13:1.

They had kept Passover before, but this was different. John tells us how Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. Luke says that Jesus desired to eat the Passover with them. The Greek language describes this as a fervent, passionate longing. He had set His heart on this moment, knowing that Calvary was not far away. They all ate the Passover and Judas departed to betray Him, just as He had said and after singing a closing hymn, Jesus led them out into the night, down the streets and out of the gate of the city into the garden.

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. Mark 14:32.

Think for a moment about His feelings and emotions. Here is a human being who was going to His appointment with death. Hebrews 4:15 tell us that He was affected by the same feelings and emotions as we. The man needed some backup and support. He was seeking someone to help Him. The man who said that the Father always heard Him in John 11:1-42 wanted someone to stand by Him in a time of His own personal greatest need.

Pray with Me!

Under Pressure: 

Diamond is the hardest natural material known and I believe is formed under extreme pressure that could be something like 2 million pounds per square inch. Renowned for its ability to reflect light and its excellent optical dispersion (the ability to disperse light), diamonds are eagerly sought out for jewelry.

Believers have a privileged position in Jesus. Isaiah says-

Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Isaiah 62:3.

Remember however that to become a beautiful, precious diamond, you will have to be squeezed!

Jesus was about to be put under the most extreme pressure any human being ever faced or will ever face.

Knowing that He was about to suffer as the hands of men, as He had been telling them for years, He—a man, needed backup and support. He wanted someone to be with Him and stand beside Him in a time of great need.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray. And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed. Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with MeMatthew 26:36-38.

Not long before He said that He looked eagerly forward to this as He broke the bread and distributed the wine. We call this The Last Supper.

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I sufferLuke 22:15.

Christians generally regard this last supper today with mixed feelings. Some regard communion as a sacrament whilst others look backwards to it in remembrance. We correctly think of the shed blood of Jesus when we drink the wine that is an emblem or symbol only, but there is much greater significance than that.

Let us look closer into this Passover evening. It was a Jewish custom dating back to the time of Moses when God commanded His people to slay a perfect lamb that had been previously chosen and inspected to ensure it had no defects. It had been chosen on the tenth day of the month and kept until the fourteenth day to be slain that evening. Its blood had to be applied to the door posts and lintels of their homes and the people had to enter into those homes to be saved. Anyone who did not personally apply that blood, died! There is no such thing as universal salvation to mankind. What Jesus did has to be personally appropriated by each individual person for it to work.

God said that He would be looking for that blood! If He did not see it, death was the result. This Passover account is found in Exodus chapter twelve.

When Jesus took that cup and told those who believe to drink, we are reminding ourselves of His shed blood of course, but He was making a covenant with God! The Greek word for cup is potērion. It refers to a drinking vessel of course, but it is figurative of one’s fate! Jesus was sealing His fate. The Hebrew word is kôs. This is often related to God's judgment upon sinful nations as found in Jeremiah 25:15. Isaiah 51:17-22 talks of drinking to the bitter dregs the results of what people had chosen and is sometimes likened to drunkenness and staggering in Isaiah 51:22, shame in Habakkuk 2:16 and the cup of the Lord's fury in Jeremiah 25:15. It was this cup that Jesus thought of, knowing that He would soon take all that guilt, shame and punishment of sin upon Himself. See Matthew 26:39.

Because He drank that cup, we can receive the benefits now offered to us. Our cup is now filled with blessing and not curse (see Psalm 16:5; Psalm 23:5), but we have to choose which cup we will drink.

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:12-13.

  After supper was finished, Jesus led them into the garden where, He is now filled with trepidation. He is feeling a great weight coming upon Him. He is starting to feel the pressure mounting, increasing with each step He takes, closer and closer to the cross. He knew what was ahead, but something inside His human shell started to feel the revulsion, the horror and the weight of it all. He who knew no sin was about to become sin itself and He reacted against it. He sensed a change starting to happen and it disturbed Him.

At times like this, we often need someone to be close. Sometimes just knowing that they are nearby is sufficient. We all need someone to tell us, I am with you. I believe in you. I am here for you. He was just like us and wanted someone who was close to Him for this support, but it never came!

And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed. Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me. And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire. Matthew 26:37-39. See also Mark 14:36; John 18:11.

When He asked for the cup to be taken away from Him, He knew the implications. 

The Old Testament was very clear about the significance, denoting that by the taking of the cup, Jesus would be taking upon himself the full wrath of God concerning sin. Look again at Isaiah 51:17, 22; Jeremiah 25:15, 17, 28; 49:12; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 23:31–33; Habakkuk 2:16; Zechariah 12:2.

The anticipation of what would happen if He went through this squeezed Him so much that He started to agonize in His mind, will and emotions. The pressure was mounting.

Luke says that He was in such agony (the Greek word is agōnia) that His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:44. Medical records reveal that a condition known as hematidrosis can be caused by extreme anguish or physical strain, whereby the capillary blood vessels dilate and burst, mixing sweat and blood. Such was the pressure on Him.

He had drunk the cup that symbolized His fate and made a covenant with the Father and reeled from it. The anguish of imminent separation and the horror of death faced Him now and it is little wonder that Jesus cried to God for help. Little wonder that He wanted to escape the cross.

Father… if it is possible… if there is some other way… if the sins of humanity can be removed legally by some other way, please find it and get me out of here.

God Was Silent:

The God who always heard Jesus’ prayer and who was always with Him before...said nothing!

For the first time in His life, Jesus was totally alone. The Father was not saying a word. He had already spoken. Before the fall in Genesis, God had already spoken. Throughout scripture, God had been speaking! Scriptures like Isaiah 53 reveal this. He was not going to speak again on this matter as it had already been pre-determined, yet the son of Man inside the Son of God needed to willingly pay the price for our sin.

Jesus returned to those He had hoped would have been supporting Him but they were asleep.

They had failed Him. Even the two closest to Him had failed and He asked Peter, Couldn’t you even pray for an hour? One hour? He would get no answers there. He returned to the Father and prayed again. Once more, silence ruled. There was no other way, so He went back to His disciples and they were still sleeping. Mark 14:40 says that they couldn’t even give Him an answer to a simple question, Why wouldn’t you pray with Me? I said wouldn’t, not couldn’t! Think on this for a while.

Jesus was being squeezed and pressurized in a way no other human being ever could. The devil was out to get Him. The Father was not talking. The disciples had failed Him.

He turned one last time and prayed, realizing that He already knew the answer so submitted to it and went back to His disciples to wake them and yield to His fate.

Jesus’ suffering was not only on the cross. His suffering was not only when the Romans savagely scourged Him. His suffering was not when they stripped Him, spat on Him, beat Him and mocked Him. His suffering was in the Garden at Gethsemane where He was being crushed.

May I suggest that in the Garden was where the real victory lay? Calvary was the physical expression of it. 

Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.

   Jesus consciously and voluntarily, and obediently endured the cross, despising the shame (Hebrews 12:2).

He knew what had to be done, and the man inside Him did not want to go that way, but He yielded Himself, or put Himself in voluntary submission to the Father, which is the Real Submission I spoke about at the beginning, to achieve your salvation and my salvation.

Conclusion:

What will you do when you are under pressure? What happens when you reach the end of your tether and no help arrives, no one understands you, or no one even cares?

There is an answer.

This might offend some, but religion will not or can not really help you. Instead, it will place you in a form of bondage.

Your good deeds will not help you. They do not impress God at all. Rather, He can liken them as filthy rags and be offended by them according to Isaiah 64:6, because you are trying to earn what He has freely given.

Salvation is a free gift according to Ephesians 2:8-9.

If I asked you, “Are you going to Heaven?” and you start to reply something like, “Well...” then you do not know. If you say things like, “I try to do good, or I hope so” then you aren't really certain!

I do not wish to offend you, but this is what the bible teaches. You simply do not know the one who can and will get you there and who will always stick with you at all times no matter what.

As I have partially displayed, Jesus went through a lot that He never had to and He did it just for you. That way, you don't have to. The Romans were the ones who tied Him to a wooden stake and drove pegs through His hands and feet, but it was your sin and my sin that caused it to happen.

Those nails never held them there, but His love, mercy and compassion for you did that. His love, mercy and compassion for you also brought Him back from the dead.

Joining a church or a religious group will not help you at all. Neither can I, but the one who can was crushed for you. All you need to do is believe that and receive what He offers you. OK? Just believe and receive. It is really as simple as that. Try it.

All that it takes is giving an invitation. That is, invite Jesus to come into your life. Tell Him where you are at.  Tell Him that you can’t do it alone and ask Him into your life.
A prayer from your heart will suffice. It really is that simple. If you need help, here is what the bible says-

If you declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved.
By believing you receive God's approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved.
Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.”
There is no difference between Jews and Greeks. They all have the same Lord, who gives his riches to everyone who calls on him.
So then, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13.

That is all the prayer you need. Call out to Him and ask Him to save you.

Be blessed,

Robert 

Please note that a new window will open


Our ministry is registered with the Australian Government

Keep walking by faith

Site Map  ::  Privacy Policy  ::  Permissions  ::  Subscribe to email teachings  ::  info@bashanministries.org
 

Bashan Ministries ABN 83 173 400 921
PO Box 1552 Victor Harbor South Australia 5211

Site Powered By
    Turnkey Website Solutions
    Online web site design